FLORIDA

George Zimmerman’s arrest following a domestic dispute with his girlfriend marks the latest in a series of brushes with the law he has had since his acquittal in a murder case that sparked nationwide debates about race and self-defense laws.

Zimmerman, the former neighborhood watch volunteer who was acquitted of any charges in the 2012 fatal shooting of unarmed black teen Trayvon Martin, was charged Monday with aggravated assault, battery and criminal mischief after his 27-year-old girlfriend called 911. He was due in court Tuesday, where a judge would decide whether to grant bond for Zimmerman.

Samantha Scheibe claimed Zimmerman had smashed a glass table, threatened her with a shotgun and ultimately pushed her out of the house she rented.

Scheibe told deputies the ordeal started with a verbal argument and that she asked Zimmerman to leave the house.

Zimmerman told his girlfriend to leave and smashed a pair of her sunglasses as she walked toward the front door, the report says. Scheibe told deputies he pushed her out of the house when she got close to the door. She also claimed that he pulled a gun on her during the dispute.

Zimmerman then said he never pulled a gun on his girlfriend and that it was she who smashed a table at the home they shared. He also told the dispatcher that Scheibe was pregnant with their child and that she had decided she would raise the child on her own. When Zimmerman started to leave, “she got mad,” he said.

Seminole County Sheriff ’s Office Chief Deputy Dennis Lemma said at a news conference that Scheibe wasn’t pregnant.

The arrest was the latest legal problem for Zimmerman since he was acquitted last summer of criminal charges in the fatal shooting of Martin, an unarmed black teen. The case sparked accusations that Zimmerman had racially profiled Martin and led to nationwide debates over the socalled Stand Your Ground defense laws in Florida and other states.

Zimmerman, 30, who identifies himself as Hispanic, has said he shot the 17-yearold to defend himself during a fight in February 2012 inside a gated community in Sanford, just outside Orlando.

He wasn’t charged until 44 days after the shooting, leading to protests nationwide from people who believed he should have been immediately arrested. Demonstrations also broke out after his acquittal. Federal authorities are now reviewing the case the see if Martin’s civil rights were violated.



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